Visitors at the exhibition. Courtesy of OCAT Shenzhen
“The Enormous Space,” an exhibition of contemporary artworks by Hong Kong artist Lee Kit and Beijing-based artist Cui Jie, opened at OCAT Shenzhen last Saturday.
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from British writer J.G. Ballard’s short story “The Enormous Space.” The Shanghai-born writer examined “space” in artistic practices, that is, the unifying of the inner imaginary world and external reality. Weary and fearful of suburban life, the protagonist of the story decides to never set foot outdoors again, using the gate of his house as a weapon against the outside world. Ultimately, the protagonist’s primitive lifestyle reveals the physical outer space that increasingly compresses life itself, yet paradoxically expands his inner world.
At the Shenzhen exhibition, Cui displays her paintings, sketches and 3-D-printed sculptures of urban buildings based on her research on modern Chinese architecture over the past few years. She has always followed the development and transformation of urban mechanisms. Her paintings reflect her thoughts on the heterogeneity of contemporary Chinese architecture and sculpture. Cui’s works are displayed in a specially-designed space that references architect Le Corbusier’s unrealized design “Maison Feuter” (1950). The project was laid aside when Feuter passed away. After researching his archives, Cui imaginatively restored Le Corbusier’s design based on his architectural plans, abstracted some architectural details such as the concrete dome structure in the similar Maison Jaoul, and placed it back into the exhibition hall. For Cui, “Maison Feuter” is both the epitome of contemporary urban construction and a symbol of the limitations of biopolitics.
Shown in parallel manners in exhibition halls A and B, Lee’s “I Didn’t Know That I Was Dead” is a set of video and sound installations. Composed of ambiguous poetic texts, dislocated walls and diluted and overlaid colors, the work assembles and blends mundane fragments, using space as the canvas, combining projection and sound, and juxtaposing multiple highly personalized narratives.
The artist didn’t explain this work but instead invited visitors to comprehend it from their own perspectives and life experiences.
Dates: Until April 8
Venue: OCAT Shenzhen, South Area, OCT-LOFT, Nanshan District (南山区华侨城创意文化园南区OCAT深圳馆)
Metro: Line 1, Qiaocheng East Station (侨城东站), Exit A
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